On Tuesday, as part of NATO meetings in London, President Donald Trump sat down with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to chat.
The two men took a series of questions from the assembled reporters, with Trump doing the vast majority of the talking.
I went through the transcript of what Trump said and pulled out the most, er, notable lines. They’re below.
1. “A question was asked just a little while ago about supporting the people protesting in Iran and are going through a very tough period. And we do support them totally, and have supported them from the beginning.”
In a bilateral meeting between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron earlier on Tuesday, a reporter asked Trump this: “Does the United States support the protesters in Iran?” To which the President responded: “I don’t want to comment on that. The answer is no, but I don’t want to comment on that.” Good times. And away we go!
2. “We support them very, very seriously.”
How, one wonders, does someone support someone else “very, very seriously”? What would that entail exactly?
3. “I’ve done many environmental impact statements over my life and I believe in – I believe very strongly in very, very crystal clear, clean water and clean air. That’s a big part of climate change.”
[narrator voice] It’s not.
4. “I also see what’s happening with our oceans, where certain countries are dumping unlimited loads of things in it. They float. They tend to float toward the United States. I see that happening, and nobody’s ever seen anything like it, and it’s gotten worse.”
OK, so, “certain countries” are dumping stuff in the ocean and managing to make said stuff float toward the US? Why haven’t I heard about this before???
5. “But I want clean air and clean water. That would be number one and number two. Very important.”
So clean air then clean water? Wow. Playing favorites!
6. “You know I’m concerned about everything.”
7. “I’m – you know, the – the whole situation with nuclear to me is very, very important, as we’ve been discussing today at the various meetings that we’ve had. I think that’s something that has to be taken care of, and it has to be dealt with very strongly.”
If you look up “reassuring” in the dictionary, this quote stares right back at you.
8. “We’ve actually advanced very far on 5G; much further than anyone really know.”
So … [whispers conspiratorially] we are talking 6G then???? Or did we skip right to 7G?
9. “And we have a lot of – a lot of action going on with respect to 5G.”
10. “We may do it with Russia first and then go to China, or we may do it all together, or it may not happen. I mean, to be honest with you, maybe it won’t happen.”
OK, so the US will do separate nuclear nonproliferation deals with Russia then with China. Or, probably, we won’t do either. Got it!
11. “But we are spending a lot of money on nuclear, and we have new nuclear and we have tremendous renovations of our older capability.”
“New nuclear,” eh? Sounds intriguing …
12. “Now, I haven’t spoken to [Chinese President Xi Jinping] recently, to be honest with you. I don’t think he likes me so much anymore, but that’s OK.”
“China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement, about 60% of total deal, after APEC in Chile was canceled do to unrelated circumstances. The new location will be announced soon. President Xi and President Trump will do signing!” – Donald Trump, 10/31/19
13. “Well, we’ll put them on a payment plan, you know? We’ll put Canada on a payment plan, right?”
[Cut to Trudeau, not laughing]
14. “We are winning so big.”
The question that elicited this response, you ask? “Mr. President, to turn back to impeachment, you met with Clinton adviser Mark Penn last month. What did you learn from that meeting? And what advice are you getting on impeachment?” Very cool and very legal.
15. “I have my best poll numbers that I’ve ever had.”
In the latest Gallup tracking poll – conducted in mid-November – 43% approved of the job Trump was doing as President and a whole 54% disapproved. The best he has ever done in Gallup polling was 46% in late April. His approval number has hovered in the upper 30s/low 40s for the vast majority of his presidency.
16. “I mean, I see what’s going on, especially the Trump districts, where I won by a lot. I have districts where I won by a lot. You people know it better than anybody.”
In 2016, Trump won 230 congressional districts while Hillary Clinton won 205, according to Daily Kos number crunching.
17. “We had – in Kentucky, we won everything other than the governorship, and the governor I brought up almost 19 points.”
[narrator voice] No, he didn’t.
18. “And Louisiana was a long shot; it was less than 1%. He came up 12 or 14 points, a lot.”
19. “And, by the way, in Mississippi, we won the governorship, very close race. It was tied going in, two days before. I went up, we made a speech, we had a rally and he won by a lot.”
Trump won Mississippi by 18 points in 2016. It is among the most conservative states in the country.
20. “We have never had the spirit that we’ve had. I really believe, I think I can honestly say, I don’t think we’ve ever had the spirit that we have right now in the Republican Party.”
[stares intently at spirit-o-meter, looking for record readings]
21. “I don’t watch the stock market.”
I laughed out loud. Not kidding.
22. “It was a perfect conversation with a very nice gentleman, the President of Ukraine. The conversation was perfect. It was two conversations. They were both perfect.”
Let’s go to the judges. … OH YES, it’s 10s across the board for those phone calls. Two perfect phone calls! We’ve never seen it before! And I predict we will never see it again!
23. “They were transcribed. They were both perfect, and this is what you’re going to impeach the President of the United States on?”
The phone calls with Zelensky were not, in fact, transcribed. As it says on the documents themselves, they are rough transcripts taken from contemporaneous notes.
24. “Someday, hopefully in a very long, distant future, you’ll have a Democrat president, you’ll have a Republican House, and they’ll do the same thing, because somebody picked an orange out of a refrigerator and you don’t like it, so let’s go and impeach him.”
So, a President taking a piece of fruit from a refrigerator features prominently in Trump’s vision of what the future will look like? OK, cool.
25. “You’ll have great access. And we’ll have a little bit of a Washington, I think, deliverance. We’re going to have – but it will be at Camp David, which is the place that people like.”
OK, Trump made some news here in announcing the G7 next year will be at Camp David. But more importantly, what the heck does this mean? “And we’ll have a little bit of a Washington, I think, deliverance.”
26. “And we’ve taken the oil. I’ve taken the oil.”
[narrator voice] He personally has not taken the oil. From anywhere. Ever.
27. “Where’s Hunter? We want the son.”
“Where’s Wallace? That’s all I wanna know.” – D’Angelo Barksdale
28. “You know what a fix is? This is a fix.”
Wait, he’s defining a word by using that word!
29. “Tomorrow, I don’t think anybody’s going to watch – I’m not going to watch, but I’m going to be doing this. It’s much more exciting.”
If you don’t think Donald Trump will be watching the Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing, then perhaps I can interest you in a fast-growing company called WeWork.
30. “I think he’s a maniac.”
The President of the United States on the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Very normal stuff!
31. “I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being. I think he grew up with a complex for lots of reasons that are obvious.”
Serious question: What does Trump mean here?
32. “We have a perfectly beautiful three-, four-page transcription, and then in the other case, a two-page transcription of the conversation.”
Again, not exactly a transcript.
33. “These people are deranged, OK?”
Yeah, this feels like a good place to end.